We assume that once we've been potty-trained, we're past the point of learning how to poo. In reality though, most Americans have bowel problems. Taking a closer look at our crapping habits will help us ensure our colon health, a major factor needed for a healthy body.
Like the song says, everything comes down to poo. As Tuberose puts it:
When there is not proper elimination, deposits of fecal matter build up along the wall of the colon or in the pockets of the colon. That's why even a mild case of constipation is a serious problem. Normally, the body pushes wastes out of your colon in eighteen to twenty-four hours. However, when you're not eliminating properly, these wastes may not leave for days. Usually the material deposits along your colon walls, it may not leave for months or years. These deposits of fecal matter in the colon get irritated. This may lead to a spastic or inflamed colon, conditions that interfere even more with nutrient absorption and also with proper bowel function. The feces that remain in one's system begin to decay, releasing toxins and poisonous gases that seep out into the blood and poison all the organs and tissues. The blood stream itself gets polluted, preventing it from removing the cells' wastes. So the whole system is poisoned by wastes.I don't know about you, but knowing that is about all it takes for me to get interested in keeping my colon healthy and my poo flowing like the Missouri River. (For the skeptical, here is a more professional document relaying some of the same information.)
But SRSLY, all it took for me to get interested was my baby making me use some colon cleansing products - mostly psyllium husk-based types (though he says flax seed-based ones are supposed to be better). The almost-immediate and surprising boost to my physical well-being made me want to look deeper (this is me not making a goatse joke) into the subject. So, without further ado, this is what I found.
5 Steps To Better Pooing
1. Put more fiber in your diet
Be sure to add fiber a little at a time, so your body gets used to it slowly. Raw, unpeeled fruits and vegetables have the most fiber. Vegetable soups are especially high in fiber and also add more fluid to your diet.
These foods are all high in fiber:
- Acorn squash
- Black-eyed peas
- Broccoli, raw
- Brussels sprouts
- Kidney beans
- Lima beans
- Whole-grain cereal
- Whole-wheat or 7-grain bread
2. Drink plenty of water
Liquid helps keep the stool soft and easy to pass, so it's important to drink enough fluids. Try not to drink liquids that contain caffeine or alcohol because they dry out the digestive system. Also, the longer stools stay in your colon, the more water you will need because the body will absorb the moisture in them, making them even harder to pass. No fun!
3. Get enough exercise
Walking briskly for 10 minutes can help you poo if you need help getting started. Above and beyond that, exercise is an important component in bowel health.
The most specific exercise for colons I found was this from EMedicineHealth: "Try a daily exercise such as the knee-to-chest position. Such positions may activate bowel movements. Spend about 10-15 minutes in this position. Breathe in and out deeply."
4. Poo when you have to
Listening to your body's poo urges - just like had to when we were getting potty trained - is important. Not going when you need to harms your guts and will make it harder for you to poo the next time you go. I personally find that when I start feeling the urge that it helps me to imagine my colon squishing the crap through itself to my butt (like a gigantic tube of brown toothpaste). It may sound stupid, gross or ridiculous, but it works!
5. DIY colon cleansing
The easiest methods of colon cleansing at home are enemas, massage, and fiber supplements.
I personally don't find enemas appealing, but I know I will get around to trying it eventually. Many people find it helpful. You can find out more at Enema Tips.
The section of the bowel from the middle of the abdomen to the lower right side usually contains most encrusted fecal matter. Thoroughly massaging this area should soften the congestion.
Fiber supplements like the syllium husk products (not endorsing any because they're all about the same) I drink every morning, are IMO the easiest way to get your poo schedule back on track. (They're not pleasing to the palate, though.) After a couple of days or so, you should be experiencing more regular movements and passing more when you do. At the very least, it's a fairly simple start on the path to colon happiness.
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